The Glass House Mountains are magnificent. They are as breathtaking as you would imagine them to be, if not better. You can see the peaks from miles away, beautifully situated in the flourishing, green plains of the Sunshine Coast’s Hinterland. As soon as I saw them, I knew I had to witness them from the top.
These mountains are so remarkable they are listed as a landscape of national significance on the Queensland and National Heritage Register.
I first heard about the Glass House Mountains in 2016. I’ve had them pinpointed on my “maps” ever since. After my fiancé James and I left Lennox Head, we took off on the Pacific Motorway and headed north, towards Brisbane. We knew we were going to climb to the top of Mount Ngungun. One of the 11 volcanic peaks of the Glass House Mountains.
The 11 peaks
The mountains are remnants of volcanic mountains that cooled around 25-27 million years ago. As a result of this cooling, the incredible vertical peaks appeared.
You can find each of the 11 peaks within the Glass House Mountains National Park. These are Mount Beerburrum, Mount Beerwah, Mount Coochin, Mount Coonowrin, Mount Elimbah, Mount Ngungun, Mount Tibberoowuccum, Mount Tibrogargan, Mount Tunbubudla, Wild Horse Mountain and Mount Miketeebumulgrai.
Out of the 11, you are able to bushwalk to the top of Mount Tibrogargan and Mount Ngungun.
Getting to the Glass House Mountains
The Glass House Mountains are located in the luscious hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. They are about an hour north of Brisbane, or an hour south of Noosa. To get there, you’ll drive along the Bruce Highway until you see the turn-off for the Glass House Mountains Tourist Drive. Then just follow the signs.
The walk up Mount Ngungun
One hour after driving through Brisbane, we reached Mount Ngungun. The excitement had already been building long before reaching the mountain as you’re treated to serene views of the peaks on approach.
When we arrived, it was actually quite daunting standing at the base looking up at the 253 metre high mountain. Even for us. We consider ourselves to be fit and quite experienced bushwalkers, but it did seem like a long way up in Queensland’s warm winter weather.
We were pleasantly surprised to find the walk to the top only took us 25 minutes. All of the information you find online will tell you it is a 2 hour return walk, however this will depend on your level of fitness.
It was late afternoon when we set off on the walk. We packed plenty of water into our backpack and enthusiastically made our way up the mountain. The walk consists of a lot of rocky stairs and rugged ground as you wind your way up through the trees. When you reach the top, you will be presented with large, rocky boulders. Climbing over these will take you to an amazing lookout, with views of the Beerwah, Coonowrin and Tibrogargan mountains in the distance.
I had never seen anything like it. It was probably as amazing as my memories of Arizona’s Grand Canyon. Something so spectacular you could never imagine what it would be like to witness the landscape in person. A 360 degree view that almost didn’t seem real. As the sun started to set, the sky turned a deep orange, before setting into a dark purple from the cloud cover. The atmosphere was quiet, with just the sound of the wind and birds singing in the distance.
Looking after the National Park
The Glass House Mountains have a very high spiritual significance to the local indigenous people of the land. It’s really important to respect and care for this special place. The national park is protected meaning plants, animals, soil and rocks shouldn’t be interfered with.
Staying on the tracks will ensure we continue to care for the land without creating new tracks. There also aren’t any bins in the park so be sure to take all of your rubbish with you.
It’s best to leave everything untouched, as spotless as it was when you found it.
Have you visited the Glass House Mountains? If so, which mountain did you climb? Leave me a comment below!